Educating The People of Scotland

Scotland's Angels

New UK Information Commissioner begins term, and what awaits his arrival?

Does Mr Edwards believe that our International rights ICCPR a sub section of which is Human Rights are indeed a ‘right’ and not a privilege, unlike his predecessor, Elizabeth Denholm OBE? I wonder what the response to that question will be?

Say Hello John Edwards and Goodbye Elizabeth Denholm.

John Edwards begins his new role as UK Information Commissioner on (Tuesday 4 January).

Mr Edwards, who joined the ICO on a five year term, spent the past eight years as New Zealand Privacy Commissioner, and before that worked as a barrister.

He succeeds Elizabeth Denham CBE, whose term as UK Information Commissioner ended last year.

Mr Edwards said:

“Privacy is a right not a privilege. In a world where our personal data can drive everything from the healthcare we receive to the job opportunities we see, we all deserve to have our data treated with respect.

“My role is to work with those to whom we entrust our data so they are able to respect our privacy with ease whilst still reaping the benefits of data-driven innovation. I also want to empower people to understand and influence how they want their data to be used, and to make it easy for people to access remedies if things go wrong.

“I know from experience that the team at the ICO are entirely dedicated to privacy and information rights, and to supporting organisations and consumers alike. The ICO has an international reputation for forward thinking and clear assessment of the practicalities of the law, which I will continue to promote. And I know too of the active data protection community in the UK – I look forward to hearing the experiences of businesses, the public sector, civil society and the privacy community.

“I welcome the opportunity to oversee the crucial Freedom of Information Act. Transparency that helps people understand and trust decisions made on their behalf has perhaps never been as relevant as across the past two years. I look forward to ensuring the law continues to be relevant in our changing world.”

Mr Edwards’ appointment comes at the start of a busy year for information rights in the UK. The ICO will be actively engaging with the government over the proposed reforms to the Data Protection Act and introduction of the Online Safety Bill, as well as strengthening links with other digital regulators. The ICO will also continue to prioritise its work to protect children online, through the Age Appropriate Design Code, which has already prompted international tech companies to make changes to better respect children’s rights online.

Biography

Mr Edwards was educated in New Plymouth, New Zealand and achieved a Bachelor of Laws and Masters in Public Policy at the University of Wellington.

He worked as a solicitor and barrister for more than 14 years, including time as a policy adviser to the New Zealand Prime Minister and Cabinet around Freedom of Information.

From February 2014 to December 2021 he was New Zealand Privacy Commissioner. During that time he chaired the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners (now known as the Global Privacy Assembly), and was a member of the OECD’s Informal Group of Experts on Children in the Digital Environment.

John Edwards’ full CV can be found on the Parliament website.

Notes to Editors

  1. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK’s independent regulator for data protection and information rights law, upholding information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals. It has its head office in Wilmslow, Cheshire, and regional offices in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.
  2. The ICO has specific responsibilities set out in the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA2018), the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR), Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (PECR) and a further five Acts / Regulations.
  3. The ICO can take action to change the behaviour of organisations and individuals that collect, use and keep personal information. This includes criminal prosecution, non-criminal enforcement and audit.
  4. To report a concern to the ICO telephone our helpline 0303 123 1113 or go to ico.org.uk/concerns.

Angelic Response

We wonder if Mr Edwards would say that our Human Rights being a sub section of the ICCPR the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights is indeed a ‘right’ and not a privilege? I think the answer is in the title of the covenant.

Considering that International law overarches all domestic law, however his current members of staff have written openly in the public domain stating that it’s not the ICO’s remit to enforce human rights, that may well be the case but as a service provider to the UK and Scottish Government they are bound under the covenant to uphold international human rights and not merely instruct service providers to use ‘implied powers’ in legislation to share potentially unlawfully and kybosh the unsuspecting victim of their human rights at articles 6 and 8. Destroying lives and the family unit.

The question has been asked of Mr Edwards – if received we will update with the response.

Interpretation Act 1978 refers to domestic law and not international law.

Taken from a disclosure regarding an information sharing workshop at COSLA in Edinburgh in JULY 2019, over a year after the new DPA2018 and GDPRUK came into being. There was also mention of service providers making judgement calls over exercising an individuals humans rights i.e. the lawful basis of sharing is consent but public task can be used, however there is a high threshold for the use of public task.

That’s where the judgement call comes in, to destroy a life or not to destroy a life?

“I know from experience that the team at the ICO are entirely dedicated to privacy and information rights, and to supporting organisations and consumers alike. The ICO has an international reputation for forward thinking and clear assessment of the practicalities of the law, which I will continue to promote. And I know too of the active data protection community in the UK – I look forward to hearing the experiences of businesses, the public sector, civil society and the privacy community”

John edwards the information commissioner

Really Mr Edwards? Are you aware of some explosive issues being played out in the public domain whatdotheyknow.com where your staff appear not to be dedicated to privacy and information rights. Who regulates the regulator?

The Angels are concerned about the requirement:

Principle (a): Lawfulness, fairness and transparency –

What do we need to tell people?

You need to include information about your lawful basis (or bases, if more than one applies) in your privacy notice. Under the transparency provisions of the UK GDPR, the information you need to give people includes:

  • your intended purposes for processing the personal data; and
  • the lawful basis for the processing.

This applies whether you collect the personal data directly from the individual or you collect their data from another source.

Read the ‘right to be informed’ section of this guide for more on the transparency requirements of the GDPR.

I now enclose a (undated) general privacy notice which is used by Social Policy for the purposes you specify. Unfortunately, neither MARAC nor IRD is specified.

carol johnston chief solcitor West lothian council

Therefore in the cases of multi agency data sharing for the purposes of MARAC or inter agency discussions which have no legal personality: and unknown to the data subject, no consent obtained on allegations and here say: these round table data sharing discussions particularly from the inception of the new act up to July 2019 had no information sharing agreements, no appropriate policy document and no data protection impact assessment (until a feeble draft version of DPIA in October 2018 by Police Scotland) and by Carol Johnston’s admission from West Lothian Council stating there was nothing in their undated privacy notice that covered MARAC or IRD.

Does Mr Edwards believe this could be unlawful? Indeed could this be breaking international law?

ICCPR. Article 7. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular, no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation.